A Case against 88 illegal miners delayed by Attorney’s absence

News South Africa

Tebogo Msimanga |

The Stilfontein Regional Court postponed the case against the 88 suspected illegal miners, arrested at shaft 2 in Orkney, to 12 October 2022. The attorney for all 88 suspects, did not appear in court and no reason was provided for his absence.

National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Spokesperson in North West Henry Mamothame said the court warned against further delays on this matter, as the last postponement was prompted by the defendant’s failure to provide the state with a hard drive, at which the content of the docket, which includes video footage will be provided for pre-trial to commence.

Mamothame said in the last court sitting on 11 August 2022, all 87 accused indicated their intention to the court of applying for bail and have appointed a different attorney to represent them just for this application. “They initially abandoned bail, owing to their illegal status in South Africa. They are charged with six counts of murder, robbery with aggravating circumstances, conspiracy to commit robbery, illegal mining, possession of automatic firearms, attempted murder and contravening the immigration act.”

Police reports indicate that eight of the accused, were wounded and six fatally wounded, during a shootout with members of the Special Task Force, assisted by Hawks Organised Crime, in the North West, during an intelligence-driven operation on Wednesday 20 October 2021. The eight injured have since been discharged from the hospital and are now in police custody.

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